it's been a while (and for that i apologize profusely). i do believe a small recap is in order so you're not completely confused :)
LAST CHAPTER: after winning the Quidditch Game, the Gryffie Quiddich Team camps out in the shrieking shack. shenanigans ensue. Al kisses Ariadne in the Black Lake and then runs away, though not before uttering a horrified "shit".
which, you know, is always an encouraging sign.
You know those girls? The kind that walk around with their faces perfectly made up, without a hair out of place, wearing the newest trends (or in our school, a skirt four inches too high) and the cutest shoes? You know what I’m talking about. The ones who speak as though their brains have been pumped out of their ears. The ones who go around in their gaggle of buddies, saying things like “And ohmymerlin, I was wearing the same exact outfit as her
. And it was like, so
To all those girls, I would just like to say:
Bitch, I invented awkward.
Picture this: you’re the only girl on your Quidditch Team. You’ve joined it (despite being unable to play) because your current captain, the bloke you’ve been in love with for God knows how long, doesn’t know you exist. Then when he finally does acknowledge your presence, he thinks your name is Reagan, and that you are in an amorous relationship with your own bloody cousin.
But you still push on, because you are one determined little bugger.
You and your captain finally become mates of some sort. He gets to know you. You get to figure out why exactly you love him so much (because he’s all shades of incredible). You become friends with everyone on this team.
And then you win a Quidditch Match.
Shit happens. You go for an intense bonding time. And then your entire plan – the whole elaborate thing that doesn’t even make sense anymore – comes down to the one moment when he finally kisses you. The setting is vaguely romantic. You have just bantered (in some bizarre world, they might even consider this the sexual kind). He leans forward and you have the kiss of your lifetime, even though it does taste like magical squid excrement.
And then…as soon as you are ready to float up to cloud nine and sing love songs for the rest of your bloody life –
He says ‘shit.’
And then he runs away from you like you are carrying the bubonic plague.
But that’s not even the worst of it, no! Because after all of this happens, you still have to go back to the Shrieking Shack and fall asleep under the same blanket as him.
The Gods seem to have been particularly bored today.
“Budge over, Ariadne, you’re fat.”
I kicked Blue in the stomach as violently as possible. He merely grunted in response, and muttered something about his incredible abs.
I don’t know which is sadder – that my friends tell me I’m fat in their sleep, or that when I kick them in retaliation, they don’t even notice.
Fucking Blue Eyes and his bloody abs.
From my other side, Blondie let out a very loud snore and turned over to drape his arm around my stomach. He sighed deeply and rested his face in my hair, and then promptly woke up, gagging.
“You smell like shit!” he wheezed sleepily at me.
“I went swimming in the Black Lake,” I responded dully. “Don’t bury your face in my hair if you don’t like it.”
But he was already asleep. I huffed into the night and tried not to think about Al, who was sleeping at the very end, as far away from me as possible. A part of me knew he was probably faking it – as soon as I’d walked into the room he started snoring at a particularly deafening decibel. The idiot doesn’t even snore when he sleeps.
I couldn’t believe he was doing this. I didn’t ask him to kiss me! He did it. He kissed me. And now he was going to try to avoid me like this was somehow my fault, like it didn’t even happen? Well, hell no. We were going to talk about this. We were going to sort this out.
We were going to make out again, if life decided to go my way for once.
…or we were going to forget it and be mates because hell if I’m going to let him and his stupid hormones ruin our friendship. This is the closest I’ll ever get to him. I’m not letting it go.
But still. Why did he do it?
My life was so much better without Al Potter.
(Lies. All lies.)
After a glorious grand total of zero minutes of sleep, I decided that the strange light peeping in through the window was the first rays of sun, and that this meant that I could finally leave. I’m done being rational. I need a freak out. Preferably underneath a warm shower spray, so I can sufficiently silencio the general area and then scream.
I slipped out from under the covers, ignoring the protesting mumble from Blondie, who believed I was his new personal teddy bear for the night.
“No, Beary Potter…” he whined, “come back…”
Bloody freaking hell. I don’t even want to know.
He let out a long and unattractive snort, and then promptly fell back asleep again, Beary Potter forgotten.
You know what – he’s paying for my Mungo’s bill when I finally snap and go apeshit insane.
I crept out of the room and emerged as quietly as I could from the bowels of the Willow. By some miracle, it seemed to be dozing (do trees doze? Maybe this tree is different? It can, after all, kill you with a whack of its branches), and I was able to quickly tread across the grounds, into the school, and even to my common room without much sweat.
There was a tiny scare when Filch came barreling down the corridor with his insane cat, but I just pretended to be a suit of armor and he completely passed me by. Old coot’s as blind as a bat. All you have to do is freeze and he’ll think you’re a new decoration or something.
I let out a contented sigh as I cranked up the shower and placed a strong silencio and also a quick muffliato around me.
And now. And now.
An Ariadne Chase Freakout Moment
Brought to you by Ariadne Chase, and Albus Potter’s Misplaced Lips
HOLY FUCKING SHIT.
IS THIS REAL LIFE?!
IS MERLIN SHITTING ME RIGHT NOW?
SOMEONE TELL ME MERLIN IS SHITTING ME. TELL ME. BECAUSE THIS CAN’T BE REAL LIFE. LIKE SERIOUSLY. WHAT’S HAPPENING. SOMEONE SAVE ME FROM THIS ALTERNATE UNIVERSE WHERE YOUR QUIDDITCH CAPTAIN AND THE BLOKE YOU’VE BEEN IN LOVE WITH SINCE YOU WERE A CHILD SUDDENLY KISSES YOU AND THEN RUNS AWAY.
BECAUSE THIS IS UNCOOL. IN FACT, IT’S SO UNCOOL I BET MY PARENTS EVEN THINK IT’S UNCOOL. AND THEY’RE LIKE THE EPITOME OF UNCOOL. THEY KICKED ME OUT OF THEIR HOUSE. THAT’S UNCOOL TO THE MAX.
AL DIDN’T JUST KISS ME. WHY DID HE JUST KISS ME?! SOMEONE TELL ME WHY AL POTTER FUCKING KISSED ME. AND THEN SOMEONE ELSE EXPLAIN WHY HE RAN AWAY LIKE A PANSY AFTERWARDS. WHY CAN’T HE JUST FACE ME LIKE A MAN? WHY DID HE HAVE TO KISS ME?
WHAT WAS THIS SUPPOSED TO ACHIEVE?! BECAUSE RIGHT NOW I AM CONFUSED AND AWKWARD AND TIRED AND UPSET AND I FEEL LIKE I’VE BEEN SLAPPED AROUND, SHITTED ON, STEAMROLLED, DIPPED IN A VAUT OF ACID, FORCE-FED SHARDS OF GLASS, AND THEN HAD MY HEART RIPPED OUT AND STOMPED ALL OVER.
I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF I’M SAD OR MAD OR INFURIATED OR WHAT.
I JUST. I DON’T EVEN. THIS DOESN’T. UGH. CAN’T SPEAK.
THIS IS A SICK JOKE, ISN’T IT MERLIN? WELL I AM NOT AMUSED.
EXPLAIN YOURSELF, YOU OLD FART.
And with that impressive display of mental screaming, I promptly let out an ear-splitting shriek that sounded scarily like a slew of curse words…and collapsed onto the floor of the shower in bewildered sobs.
This is the good life.
“Okay, spill everything,” Rose said two hours later. I’d emerged from the bathroom with a suspiciously puffy face, puffy eyes, and bright red puffy lips. No matter how hard I tried denying anything being wrong, my face said completely otherwise.
I’m not even kidding. This is how much the universe hates me. I cry a little and my entire face literally balloons to twice its normal size.
Okay, fine. Maybe I cried a bit more than little. I’m not normally a crier. But once I get going…oh Merlin. I get going. I could probably supply a small country with my tears.
“I’m fine,” I said feebly, but Rose pulled me onto her bed and I immediately latched on to her, hugging her around the middle like she was my mommy.
Bad example. I’d never do that with my mommy. Let’s just say I was hugging her like she was Aunt Astoria.
Er, I’m not sure how much Rose would like being compared to her boyfriend’s mother…
Shit. I’m exhausted. Ignore me.
“What happened?” she asked softly, rubbing gentle circles onto my back. “You should be happy, you won the match yesterday!”
I won the match yesterday? Well, damn. I completely forgot about that. I guess I did do that. It’s weird, isn’t it, that you can go from feeling like the coolest shit in the world right back to Ree Chase (that mental one) in just a day? Damn it, Al.
“Al kissed me,” I finally said in a breathless whimper. There was a solid four minutes of silence. I would know. I counted in my head and braced myself for Rose to freak out.
Instead, she let out a long breath. I was shocked. Has Scorpius been teaching her yoga or something? This is such a wonderful improvement. I can’t believe he’s actually done something helpful for once.
“And then what did he do?” she asked quietly.
I gulped and snuggled closer to her. “He said shit and ran away,” I said in a small voice.
I actually kind of miss the Old Rose.
“That stupid bugger,” she growled in a simmering voice. She made to get up, but I tightened my arms around her.
“If you say anything to him, Rose, I’m going to tell Scorpius that one time when you tried dying your hair brown like mine and instead spelled it green and had to have it shaved off,” I warned.
Rose sucked in a sharp breath. “You conniving Slytherin!” she said in a low but impressed voice.
I sniffed. “One must do what one must do.”
“I dunno, Rose,” I moaned. “I just need to sort this out with him without my psycho-overprotective best friend around, alright?”
I could practically feel Rose pouting. “So does this mean I can’t tell Scorpius?”
“Well, that depends. Would you like him to know about the various embarrassing escapades of your childhood?”
Rose pondered this for a second.
“Right, I’ll just be down to the kitchens to bring back some ice cream,” she decided in a very chipper voice.
“Good choice,” I commended, letting her slip out of my grasp. I hugged one of her pillows to my chest as I stared up at the canopy and waited for her to get back. Man, I’d sure love some Cookie Dough ice cream. That sounds bloody fantastic.
That bitch didn’t come back! I waited around for twenty entire minutes – more than enough time to get to the kitchens and back, mind you – and she still didn’t reappear. Some best friend I have.
I decided that sitting on my fat butt was not going to get me any Cookie Dough ice cream, so, muttering curses towards Rose, I hauled myself out of bed, threw on a pair of scruffy jeans and an oversized sweater that belongs to The Draco Malfoy (he’d probably melt into a puddle of fatherly goo if he saw me in his old sweater. If you tell anyone I’ll be forced to kill you) and pulled on a pair of boots before trudging out of the Gryffindor Tower.
Very, very carefully, so as to not encounter someone I did not wish to encounter on this day (AHEM AL), I made my day down the hallways of Hogwarts.
I’d almost made it, too, when –
“HOLY ZEUS!” I shrieked, jumping about three feet in the air. I whirled around like a demented bat out of hell, my eyes wide, my hair in frazzles around my head. For a second Al looked genuinely terrified.
“Can we…can we talk?” he finally uttered hesitantly, eyeing my hair like it was some sort of beast and might suddenly leap off my head to attack his face.
I contemplated it for a second, and decided that as of right now, my mental functions would not permit such activities.
“Hey look!” I yelled, pointing behind him. He turned around, and I quickly sprinted away.
I am such a spaz.
“Oi! Did you seriously just run away from me? Ariadne?!” He shouted after me, sounding frustrated.
“I need to go!” I screamed over my shoulder, “My nargles need feeding!”
“Nargles aren’t even real!”
I skidded around the corner and continued running. They’re real when I need them to be, bitch.
That’s right. Get at me.
I nearly stumbled over myself in surprise. I groaned. Is the stupid sod actually following me?! In what world does me sprinting away from him give the impression that I want him to follow after? The entire point of sprinting away was so he wouldn’t do this!
God, what an idiot.
“Go away!” I shot behind my shoulder.
“No! We need to talk!”
“I don’t wanna!”
(I used a similar argument when I was four. It worked then. Should work now.)
“Ariadne, I can keep this up for hours!” He shouted.
I huffed. Goddamn. I was already running out of energy. I glanced around me for any sort of inspiration, and my eyes landed on a tapestry. Maybe I could… no, but it would seem absolutely ridiculous…should I…?
Sod it. I tumbled behind it just as Al rounded the corner, and squished myself into the conveniently located niche. Bloody hell, this place smells like bat shit. Breathe through mouth…no! No, abort! That makes it worse. Ugh. This is the second time in twenty four hours that I’ve tasted animal shit. That is wrong on so many levels. Just as I was ready to whisper a bubble-head charm around me, the tapestry was whipped aside to reveal a barely ruffled Al
Potter, who looked faintly amused and mildly irritated, but mostly like he couldn’t believe such a person like me could actually exist on the same planet as the rest of the normal people.
“I almost didn’t find you,” he said conversationally, crowding me into a corner of the tiny niche as he squished himself into the small space and let the tapestry fall back into place.
I was just about to make another run for it, but a nifty spell prevented me from doing so. The arsehole had turned the tapestry into stone. I was going to kill him the second I could reach my arm around my back and get my wand out of my back pocket. Just you wait, Potter.
“Wanker,” I huffed, crossing my arms over my chest. “I said I didn’t want to talk right now.”
“And I distinctly remember not caring,” he retorted, following my action. His arms pressed up painfully against mine in the small space. I dropped mine to my sides just as he did. Awkward moment ensued during which I pretended that he wasn’t completely pressed up against me behind a tapestry.
“Nice location you’ve picked out for this,” I muttered resentfully. Damn it, this talk was supposed to be platonic! How were we supposed to achieve platonic when he couldn’t seem to keep his hands off me, hmm? I mean, if swimming in a poop-infested lake seemed to turn him on, imagine how he must be suffering right now…in the dark…in a small space behind a tapestry…all alone with the girl of his dreams…
Yep, that was definitely pushing it. My hopeless daydreams have stopped now.
“Your fault,” he retorted.
“I wasn’t expecting you to follow.”
“I wasn’t expecting you to run away.”
“I wasn’t expecting you to kiss me.”
He faltered. “Um…”
I crossed my arms again. “Yeah, thought so. Explain, Potter.”
“You know what?” he said suddenly, fumbling around for his wand again. “You’re right. This is not a good time to talk. We should do this some other time…like next year…or never…”
“I stole your wand out of your pocket, Al, now stop groping around and get back against that wall,” I said, pushing him on the chest so that he’d stop crowding me. Honestly, that kid is so stupid – did he honestly think he could just press himself up like this and expect me to exercise self-restraint?
“Can I have it, then?” he asked, stubbornly refusing to move despite my continued efforts to push him bodily away.
“Not until you tell me why. This is actually a brilliant time to talk. I’m curious. So talk.”
Bloody hell, since when did I turn into such a badass Slytherin? This is quite fun. No wonder Slytherins seem so devious and pleased with themselves all the time.
“I plead the Fifth!” he declared dramatically, clamping his mouth shut.
“You’re not American.”
He gestured to his resolutely shut lips and crossed his arms, clearly proud of himself.
“Fine,” I said lightly, sticking both of our wands down my shirt. Al’s eyes widened at this, and for a second his mouth actually dropped open. Then he blinked, shook his head slightly, and resumed glaring over the top of my head.
I decided not to let him know that I was actually wearing a shirt underneath this sweater that had a breast pocket.
For all he knows, his wand might be in my bra at this very moment. I wondered how he felt about this.
“You know,” I said conversationally, “we’re going to be stuck in here for quite a while unless you start talking. And my hair’s pretty big as it is since I haven’t brushed it yet, and it’s not even completely dry. I am not responsible for whatever it decides to do to your general breathing area.”
Speaking about my hair as though it’s a living, breathing creature? Yes, very sane of me.
“It’s a shame, really,” I sighed, looking sadly at the ceiling, “I was hoping to get to the kitchens and get some Cookie Dough Ice Cream. You know, it’s my favorite.”
He closed his eyes, leaned back against the wall, and started snoring.
“I know you don’t snore in your sleep!” I shouted over the noise. When he didn’t stop I pinched his nose between my fingers, and his eyes snapped open.
“Let go of be,” he commanded in an angry, very nasally voice.
“I’m sorry, I thought you weren’t speaking to me.”
“Let go of by dose.”
“Not until you tell me why you kissed me.”
There was a brief moment of silence.
“Dis is child abuse,” he muttered. “You are such a Slytherid.”
This is now the second time in one day that a fellow Gryffindor has called me a Slytherin. I’m actually starting to get worried.
“Only a Gryffindor would have enough nerve to do this to the son of The Boy Who Defeated Voldemort,” I retorted, my Gryffindor Pride officially wounded.
He glared. “Touché.”
“So, are you talking?”
“I’b dot talking.”
This calls for drastic measures.
With one hand still pinching his nose, I carefully extracted the other one and moved in…towards his very tone, muscle-y stomach. And while I would have loved to feel him up, the circumstances, unfortunately, just did not call for running one’s hands up and down one’s Quidditch Captain’s abs. No, I’d have to save that for another day.
Instead, I started tickling him.
Right away, he let out an extremely loud yelp and crashed backwards into the wall, scrambling to get away from me. I was having none of it. I moved closer, tickling away, enjoying that for once in my life, I had one-up on Al Potter.
“You – can’t – break – be –” He wheezed through desperate giggles. It definitely didn’t help that he could only breathe through his mouth. I briefly hoped he wouldn’t keel over from this.
I can’t even begin to describe how much shit I’d be in if I killed a member of The Golden Children through the manipulation of his ticklish tummy.
It’d be deep shit. And not even the nice kind like Squid shit, which is apparently very romantic and gets people to snog other people for seemingly no reason whatsoever.
“I SURRENDER!” he finally yelled, slumping against the wall in relief when I released him. He glared up at me.
“You’re an evil person,” he grumbled. I smiled sweetly at him. I’d undergone a mental breakdown at his hands. Revenge should have been mine.
And boy, is revenge a wonderful thing.
Al’s abs are amazing.
“Tell me,” I said simply, letting the confused helplessness slip into my voice for the first time in our conversation.
He took a deep breath and looked me straight in the face. “I don’t know,” he uttered clearly.
My eyebrows shot up to my hairline. “You don’t know?” I echoed in a voice that was edging on hysteria. “How could you not know?”
“I just don’t,” he said, looking stressed, “I’ve been asking myself all night why I did that, and I don’t know.”
“That is such a shit answer!”
“I know, I – whoa,” he said, putting his hands up when he saw that my fingers were reaching for his stomach again, “okay, wait, hold on there – Ariadne if you tickle me, so help me I will kiss you again!”
There was a ringing silence after his desperate outburst.
Oh, how cute. He thinks he’s threatening me.
“You can’t tell me you don’t know,” I said quietly.
He let out a frustrated breath. “What do you want me to tell you, Ariadne, that I’m desperately in love with you and that’s why I did it?!”
My eyes widened.
“I’m not,” he said in a low voice, shoving his hand through his hair, “it was just an example.”
“Then why,” I started dangerously, “did you kiss me?”
“Why did you kiss me back?”
“Don’t you dare turn this on me after giving me such a shit answer, Al Potter –!”
“I’m confused, okay?” he bellowed.
“About what?” I shouted back. The words echoed off of the walls, piercing through my eardrums in the tiny space. “About me? What’s there to be confused about –?”
“About…I don’t even know! I just need time to think, to figure this out,” he ran both of his hands through his hair this time. He looked tortured and torn.
And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I can’t be…can it?
Oh my god.
“You like me,” I whisper, my words hollow with surprise.
His head snapped up, his eyes wide and wary. He swallowed once, holding my gaze nervously.
“You’re not denying it,” I said softly, letting out a short, incredulous huff of breath, “Al –”
“Captains don’t have relationships with their seekers,” he cut through, his voice sharp and closed off.
I wet my lips. Holyshitholyshitholyshit. “Al, I –”
“Don’t,” he muttered. “Just, please…don’t. I’ll figure it out. I’ll find a way to work around it. It doesn’t even matter.”
NO, WAIT. WAIT, WAIT, WAIT! IT MATTERS TO ME. IT MATTERS TO ME VERY MUCH.
“Can I please have my wand?” he asked plaintively, holding his hand out. I pulled it out of the pocket and handed it to him, and I was amused to notice he took it very gingerly, swallowing forcefully a couple of times.
“Al,” I said desperately. “Just –”
He cut me off by stepping right up in my space and sweeping his hand over my cheek and tucking my hair behind my ear. His fingers lingered there, warm on my skin, his thumb just barely brushing the corner of my bottom lip. I could see myself reflected in his green eyes. I looked like I was ready to cry out of pure confusion. I tried to hastily rearrange my expression, but to no avail. No wonder he won’t let me talk. If Al looked at me with this expression (why the hell do I look horrified? WHERE DID MY BRAIN GET THE SIGNAL TO LOOK HORRIFIED?!) I’d immediately assume that he was trying to let me down easy or something.
I need to start practicing facial expressions in front of my mirror. They’re clearly screwing me over.
“I’m sorry for this,” he said quietly. I opened my mouth to scream at him to stop being such a blind dumbass, but he pressed his hand once against my mouth to silence me.
Then with a quick smile, he loped away, me gaping after him.
When I finally got my wits about me – skin still tingling with his touch – he was gone.
“I’m in love with you,” I whispered to empty air.
Ariadne Chase: -3
Aphrodite, The Goddess of Love: 3